Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trump invites Asean leaders to summit in US



Trump invites Asean leaders to summit in US

Trump invites Asean leaders to summit in US

US president Donald Trump has invited Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 other Asean leaders to a summit to be held in Las Vegas in March.

“The invitation was first conveyed during the Asean-US meeting at the Asean Summit and related summits in Bangkok last November. The US then reiterated its invitation through a letter dated January 9, 2020,” the Malacanang Presidential Palace said.

The Palace also released a copy of Trump’s letter to the Asean leaders dated November 1, given during last year’s Asean summit in Bangkok.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to offer an invitation to the leaders of Asean to join me in the US for a special summit meeting at a time of mutual convenience in the first quarter of 2020,” the letter read.

Trump added: “This will provide an excellent opportunity for us to broaden and deepen our cooperation on matters of great importance to the nearly one billion people in the United States and Asean nations that we have the privilege to represent. The American people and I hope to see you in the United States soon.”

The Palace said: “The meeting between Duterte and Trump is expected to reaffirm the long-standing alliance between the Philippines and the US.”

This was the second time that Trump invited Duterte to visit the US. In April 2017, Trump invited the president to visit the US, including Washington.

Last month, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte would formally decline the invitation, following the US passage of its 2020 budget that includes a provision banning Filipino officials involved in De Lima’s detention.

De Lima has named the president and several other government officials as responsible for her detention on illegal drug charges, which were based on testimonies of convicted drug lords.

In response to the US threat, Duterte banned from entering the Philippines the three US senators who wrote the provision.

He also moved to impose a visa requirement on US citizens should the US prevent any Filipino official connected with De Lima’s detention from stepping on US soil.

The Palace has repeatedly said the president is not poised to visit the US anytime soon, citing Duterte’s distaste for long-haul flights and colder weather.

Early into his administration, Duterte was criticised by the US government over the killings in his war on drugs. The US had urged him to ensure that law enforcement efforts in the crackdown on illegal drugs comply with human rights obligations.

Months later, Duterte told then US President Barack Obama to “go to hell”and called him “son of a bitch” for being critical of the drug war. After Obama stepped down in January 2017, Duterte publicly stated that he liked Trump more.

Trump’s friendly relationship with Duterte drew flak from some US senators and human rights groups.

In July 2017, Duterte declared that he had no plans to go to the US after an American congressman said he should not be welcomed to the White House due to his lack of regard for human rights in his brutal antinarcotics campaign.

A Washington Post report said Trump congratulated Duterte for an “unbelievable job on the drug problem” in an April 2017 phone call.

PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Lost in translation: ‘Starvation’ in capital’s designated red zones

    “DACH bay” is a Khmer slang meaning a “loss of income”, that could also be literally translated to «deprived of rice”, which alludes to starvation. However, civil society organisation (CSO) officials have independently confirmed the government’s prior assertions that there are no cases of